Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets, a retailer offering organic and locally sourced produce, plans to open its first store in Mt. Prospect, Ill., this spring — and eight more by year’s end.

Each store is 28,000 square feet. More than 60 will open over the next five years in states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to a news release.

Of those, 23 locations have been scheduled.

“Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets will be a completely new grocery format for the Midwest,” Chris Sherrell, president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “We’ve taken the experience of an outdoor farmers market and combined it with the convenience of a full-service grocery store. Shoppers will enjoy value priced natural and organic items throughout our store.”

Sherrell was president and chief executive officer of Sunflower Farmers Market from 2003 to 2012.

Store features will include:


  • Fresh Thyme Kitchen, featuring prepared salads and meals, a salad bar, made-to-order sandwiches and a bakery;
  • more than 400 bins of bulk items, including organic foods and locally roasted coffee beans;
  • more than a dozen sausage varieties made in store; and
  • wine and local craft beers.


The company expects to create about 5,000 jobs over the next five years, Sherrell said.